Speakin' Japanese: Just ask

Speakin' Japanese: Just ask

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

To ask for, wish or encourage something in Japanese, the following phrases will help you.

1. Atatakai nomimono wo kudasai.
(Give me something warm to drink, please.)
“wo kudasai” = “give me … , please.”  You can use this expression in other phrases, too, such as:

- Atsukan wo kudasai.
(Give me hot sake, please.)
- Sashimi wo kudasai.
(Give me raw fish, please.)
- Cohee wo kudasai.
(Give me coffee, please.)
- Oyasumi wo kudasai.
(Give me a day off, please.)

2. Atatakai tokoro ni iki-tai desu.
(I want to go somewhere warm.)
“-tai desu” = “I want to ...”

- Onsen ni hairi-tai desu.
(I want to bathe in a hot spring.)
- Ramen ga tabe-tai desu.
(I want to eat ramen.)
- Ski ga shi-tai desu.
(I want to ski.)
- Eiga ga mi-tai desu.
(I want to see a movie.)
- Byouin ni iki-tai desu.
(I want to go to a hospital.)

3. Oshiruko wa ikaga desuka?
(How would you like some sweet bean soup?)
“wa ikaga desuka?” = “How would you like … ?” (In addition to offering or recommending something, you can also use this phrase to inquire about someone.)

- Cohee wa ikaga desuka?
(How would you like a coffee?)
- Okawari wa ikaga desuka?
(How would you like a refill?)
- Gokazoku wa ikaga desuka?
(How is your family?)
- Gakko wa ikaga desuka?
(How are you doing at school?)
- Oshigoto wa ikaga desuka?
(How is work going?)

Takahiro Takiguchi, Stripes Japan

Pronunciation key: “A” is short (like “ah”); “E” is short (like “get”); “I” is short (like “it”); “O” is long (like “old”); “U” is long (like “tube”); and “AI” is a long “I” (like “hike”). Most words are pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable, but “OU” is a long “O” with emphasis on that syllable.

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